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NCAA coming around to idea of St. Thomas making the jump from DIII straight to FCS


It appears Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold might not be the only one in recent memory to go directly from the Division III ranks straight to Division I football.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, The University of St. Thomas is going full steam ahead with the rare move up two divisions. The Tommies are hoping to join the Summit League for most of their sports if they get the necessary approvals and will likely become an FCS football team at the same time with a conference affiliation still to be determined.

Now you may ask what prompted such a move in the first place and for those without a clear memory of events from this past spring, St. Thomas was actually at the center of a firestorm after the school was kicked out for being too good at sports by the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). While they will remain a part of the league until the 2021 school year wraps up, their future after that has been up for some debate.

“We believe St. Thomas can be a viable Division I program, and we want them in our league,” Summit League commissioner Tom Douple told the paper. “We’re committed to working with them and working with the NCAA to try to solve this. We knew this was going to be a hard process, but we think it’s a good battle to fight.”

One of the biggest issues is that nobody has really done the leap from D3 to D1 and certainly no school in the time frame St. Thomas is looking at. There is a current 12 year (yes a dozen years) process mandated by the NCAA to make the transition, just like there is a similar one (on a shorter timeframe) to go from the FCS ranks to the FBS level that programs such as Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina have gone through in the recent past.

“[The NCAA] is working right now through a couple of different models of how to address this,” athletic director Phil Esten told the Tribune. “The good news is, nobody has yet said no. And they’re trying to find a way to create a [direct] pathway.

“Whether that’s through new legislation, amended legislation, some kind of an appeal process, I don’t know. Those are all the things that hopefully we’ll learn after further deliberations in January, at the [NCAA] convention.”

A spokesperson for the NCAA said they “support in concept’’ the idea of St. Thomas’ quick move but obviously there’s still plenty of moving parts to sort out. The hope for many is that some sort of resolution can get done by next April to allow the university and others to map out how things will go.

Either way, being too good at sports really is quite the headache nobody expected for the tiny university in Minnesota.

Dave Doeren not impressed with Xavier Lyas’ decision to transfer from NC State

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We didn’t start the day with a portal post, but you knew the odds were favorable that we’d get one in sooner rather than later.

On his personal Twitter account over the weekend, North Carolina State’s Xavier Lyas announced that he has “decided to enter the transfer portal in order for me to reach my full potential both academically and football.”

The defensive end’s head coach, though, didn’t seem very impressed with Lyas’ decision. From Dave Doeren‘s Monday press conference, via

When did you find out about Xavier Lyas and what does his departure kind of do to depth?

“He came in and see me saw me on Sunday. Wish him luck, rather talk about the guys that are here. Somebody put a great screenshot out today, though, that their girlfriend was in the portal, I thought that was pretty funny. It’s life, some of these kids don’t play as much as they want and how it goes.

“So as far as our depth will be fine. We got enough defensive ends we’ll be good.

Lyas was a three-star member of the Wolfpack’s 2017 recruiting class.  This season, Lyas is currently third in sacks with four and tied for third in tackles for loss 4½.  Additionally, his two forced fumbles are tops on the team.

Three Power Five WRs added to Biletnikoff watch list

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For the fourth time in a little over a month, a major college football honor is adding to its watch list.

This week, the Biletnikoff Award announced that it has added five wide receivers to its watch list, including three from Power Five schools and two from Group of Five programs.  Those included this go-around are Louisville’s Chatarius Atwell, Western Kentucky’s Lucky Jackson, Syracuse’s Trishton Jackson, Tennessee’s Jauan Jennings and San Jose State’s Tre Walker (pictured).

Below are each players’ statistical particulars for the 2019 season:

  • Atwell: 46 receptions for 810 yards, eight touchdowns
  • L. Jackson: 62-839-2
  • T. Jackson: 51-780-8
  • Jennings: 50-771-7
  • Walker: 59-896-1

Walker is currently 13th in the nation in receiving yards, Lucky Jackson 17th. The latter is also tied for 25th in receptions per game.

The Biletnikoff Award is handed out annually to the nation’s most outstanding FBS receiver. The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, which oversees the honor, stresses that “[a]ny player, regardless of position (wide receiver, tight end, slot back and running back) who catches a pass is eligible for the award.”

Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy was the 2018 winner of the award.  A wide receiver has won the award every year since it was first handed out in 1994, and all of the players added this week are listed as receivers.

Texas Tech intends to redshirt QBs Alan Bowman and Maverick McIvor

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A season that was derailed early on by injury concerns will now end with Alan Bowman redshirting the 2019 season. Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells confirmed on Monday Bowman will redshirt the remainder of the 2019 season to preserve a year of eligibility. The decision is not much of a surprise given the current status of the Red Raiders offense and Bowman’s injury history. Maverick McIvor, who has not appeared in a game this season due to an offseason foot injury, will also redshirt the remainder of the season.

In mid-September, Bowman was said to miss “several weeks” due to a shoulder injury. Although Bowman has now been medically cleared to play for the Red Raiders, the situation in Lubbock appears to be a good opportunity to protect the shoulder a little more unless absolutely needed. The decision to redshirt was Bowman’s, according to multiple reports, and Wells agreed that was in the best interest of all involved.

Bowman appeared in three games this season for the Red Raiders, leaving him one more game to play without jeopardizing a year of eligibility. Texas Tech could still play Bowman in one more game and not have this season count against his redshirt year under the NCAA’s revised redshirt rules from a year ago.

In his three games played, Bowman has completed 101 of 154 attempts for 1,020 yards and six touchdowns with three interceptions. Jett Duffey has led the offense in Bowman’s absence, and he has performed admirably with 1,774 yards and 10 touchdowns to just two interceptions over seven games.

McIvor is a freshman, so he will still have four years of eligibility beginning with the 2020 season.

Houston cornerback Ka’Darian Smith charged with aggravated assault

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Houston cornerback Ka’Darian Smith has been suspended by the football program after he was charged for aggravated assault for an incident occurring last week. Smith admitted to the assault to police and was released from jail after posting bond.

“We are aware of the serious allegations regarding Ka’Darian Smith,” a UH Athletics spokesperson said, according to The Daily Cougar. “He has been suspended indefinitely from the Houston football program. We will have no further comment at this time.”

According to police records, the incident leading to the charge occurred last Wednesday, Nov. 6. The alleged victim was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for injuries to the upper body and the head.

Smith responded to a tweet from Houston Chronicle reporter Joseph Duarte, there was more to the story about the alleged victim. According to Smith, the man broke into his room and was stealing from Smith.

How long Smith remains suspended may depend on how long the legal process takes to play out, which is fairly standard for incidents like these.